We're not exactly what you'd call "business-savvy," but we are totally fascinated by Mike Merrill, a guy from Portland who has put himself on the stock market to be a publicly traded person (yes, we know you have no idea what that means… yet... and it took us a minute too). Furthermore, he wears a uniform of 100% Brooks Brothers -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week -- down to his underwear and jammies.
We first met Mike when Alec Friedman encouraged us to shoot him for the United States in Style series we produced with Huff Po. And with my (Elisa's) affection for the eternal hipness of a brand as classic as Brooks Brothers (I swear by their little boys navy blazer that I own), we decided to revisit Mike on our last trip to Portland and dig a little deeper.
OK, back to that publicly traded thing -- we think we have this right… Essentially, Mike has put himself on the stock market so that anyone can buy and sell shares of him and vote on every major life decision that he has to make. Should he quit his job? Should he move in with his girlfriend? Should he get a vasectomy? (Spoiler alert, he barely dodged this last one.)
In fact, the former military officer from Cold Foot, Alaska (the Northern most truck stop where JC Penny was the shit) is an unlikely radical in Nantucket red who is showing that the stock market is actually meant to be democratic and a far cry from the corrupt, uber exclusive Wall Street. While this might seem like an ironic game that Mike is playing, it is anything but. By having a community of share holders be a part of his lifestyle, his goal is to be his best, most accountable self -- a self that he felt was reckless and impulsive when he was on his own.
Mike's arrival at an all Brooks Brothers uniform is born from his same quest to be conscious and intentional. Desiring to dress well, aka not in the usual jeans-and-tee army of Portland(ia), he went in search of a white button-down shirt and ultimately landed on the Brooks Brothers one from 1818 for its un-trendy quality and reasonable price. "The difference between someone who dresses well and someone who doesn't is intention," Mike declares. And we couldn't agree more. In 9-5 khakis, the thought that Mike puts into his wardrobe, more than any one item of clothing, is the very thing that sets him apart.
Your style is your story and Mike's is inspiring. Hear him share all in his video above.
Lily & Elisa